Creating a Functional Space for Volunteer Technicians

Pinhole fisheye of someone sitting at a forecast console

When redesigning your control room space, there are several critical factors to consider. Whether your control room is primarily operated by volunteer technicians or a mix of experienced professionals and newcomers, optimizing the space to meet their unique needs is essential. Let’s break down five key considerations that will help you create a control room that maximizes efficiency and comfort for your technicians no matter their skill level.


Anyone who’s had the unfortunate experience of being packed onto a long-haul flight in coach with a person in front of you who decides to fully recline as soon as the plane goes wheels up will tell you that comfort is key. This point is especially poignant when your workforce is almost exclusively made up of volunteers. Both before services and during, technicians often spend extended hours in the control room, so ergonomics is crucial for their well-being and productivity. Prioritize adjustable workstations, ergonomic seating, and proper lighting to minimize fatigue, reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries, and promote a comfortable working environment. A well-designed control room with ergonomic furniture ensures that your volunteers can focus on their tasks without unnecessary physical strain.


Considering the dynamic nature of volunteer-driven control rooms, durability should be one of your top priorities. When working with teams that range from novice to expert, you’ll need a solution that can withstand frequent use and potential mishandling. Often an off–the-shelf solution from a big box store just won’t cut it. Opting for high-quality, robust furniture and equipment made of durable materials and construction will extend the lifespan of your control room, minimizing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.


Volunteer technicians may have varying levels of expertise and experience. Design your control room with flexibility in mind to accommodate different skill levels and adapt to changing requirements. Incorporate modular furniture systems that can be easily reconfigured, allowing volunteers to customize their workstations based on their preferences and project needs. Flexibility ensures a seamless workflow, regardless of the team’s composition or project demands.


User sitting in a low-lit room at a forecast desk

Depending on volunteer operators often means technical directors are caught in a David and Goliath battle against FOMO. With volunteer bandwidth at an all-time premium, your goal is to create an uplifting and inspiring workspace that inspires your team to want to show up week after week. Creating an aesthetically pleasing control room has been shown to have a positive impact on technicians’ productivity and reliability. Consider the color scheme, lighting, and overall ambiance of the space. Choose furniture and decor that align with your organization’s branding and create a welcoming atmosphere. A visually appealing control room can boost morale, inspire creativity, and enhance the overall experience for volunteer technicians.


When redesigning your control room, compatibility is key to ensure seamless integration of equipment and technology. Take into account the wide range of devices and systems that may be used by volunteer technicians, such as audio consoles, video switchers, and computer systems. Choose furniture and infrastructure that can accommodate various equipment sizes and configurations, ensuring compatibility and interoperability across the control room.

Redesigning a control room to cater to the needs of volunteer technicians requires careful consideration of key factors like ergonomics, durability, flexibility, aesthetics, and compatibility. Companies like Forecast Consoles create intuitive technical furniture with the belief that by prioritizing these aspects, you can create a control room space that promotes volunteer comfort, enhances productivity, and enables smooth operation. Remember, a well-designed control room not only supports your team but also shepherds the overall success of your projects and operations.